Thursday, July 21, 2011

We're Moving!

To Wordpress!

I'm sad to let go of my "HiMyNameIsJack" url, but seriously I have 2 kids. Henry needs love too!

So here we are:

I hope you'll follow me... and be patient during this time of transition! Who knows how long it will take!

If you have a wordpress blog, please share any helpful advice! I'd love to hear it!

Harry Potter

Was pure magic! Spoiler alert, but honestly- shame on you if you don't know how the saga ends. Have you been living under a rock?! Seriously?!

So Harry and I met back during the winter break of my freshman year of college (1999-2000). I was working at Barnes and Noble (which, in case you're reading this in 2015, was something called a bookstore... they used to sell books in actual brick and mortar stores, once upon a time.) Speaking of, Once upon a time... so it was a cold winter and I was working as a barista in the coffee shop of B&N and I noticed a book on a shelf of the New York Times best seller list (this was before they had to make the children's best seller list because Tom Clancy and Barbra Kingsolver got tired of being beaten out by some, scoff, children's author.

Harry Potter.

I had an employee discount. What could it hurt?

It took me about a week to read the first book. I just could not get into it. The writing was good but I preferred female heroines, and the only interesting female character, Hermione, was an insufferable know-it-all. Then the troll went into the 3rd floor bathroom on Halloween and I was hooked. I read the 3 books (that's all that was out) during breaks at work, walking around my parents house, sitting at traffic lights. I cannot accurately describe the devastation when I realised that the 4th book hadn't been released yet. Not only that but they didn't have a release date. Agony.

For books 4-7 I found myself at midnight release parties. By the release of the 7th I was married and had a mortgage. But like all the releases before that I grabbed my custom ordered wand and my Gryffindor tee and mussed my hair a bit to pay homage to the brainy and bitchin-cool Hermione and hung out with tweens, housewives and nerdy adults and waited in line so I could start reading 8 hours before everyone else.

I have since packed up the Harry Potter posters, and the figurines (except the snow globe) but my 3 copies of the series American publication, British publication and French publication all remain on the shelves. As soon as the first hint of fall pushes against the summer heat I find myself picking up The Philosophers Stone and starting a new. Each time I hear the sounds of the train whistle, smell the warm butterbeer and feel the whipping wind at a Quidditch match.

I love these books and these characters so deeply. The movies are good, but as with all movies there are subtle (and sometimes not so subtle ::cough:: House Elf Liberation Front ::cough::) changes made as screenwriters make their own artistic additions. The movies are visually magnificent and although things are not as I pictured them, how could they be? Art is always open to interpretation.

However. There are a few things that happened in the second movie that I'm not pleased about, I still loved it, and cried like a baby, but these oversights seem to me to be oversights, they detract from the story.

1. You do not see Fred die. The death of Fred Weasley is HUGE and to merely happen upon the Weasley family and look down to see a twin and hear someone say "Fred" between sobs does not do justice to the magnitude of that loss. He was fighting side-by-side with his brother Percy, who had just been welcomed back into the fold. He was cracking a joke, as the twins often did, when he died. A smile frozen forever on his face. The movie skips all that. Body. Floor. Crowd of Weasleys.

2. Voldemort/Tom Riddle dissolves when he dies, like Professor Xavier when Jean Grey goes all Dark Phoenix. Poof. Also, Harry curses him which causes him to go poof. Wrong and wrong. Tom Riddle's body lays pathetic and empty and proof positive to the Death Eaters that it is over at the end of the book. For how grand and bad-ass he was while he was torturing mudbloods and muggles he died the same death everyone else dies. Body there, you gone. Also, Harry Expelliarmused Tom while Tom simultaneously tried to Avada Kedavra Harry and the simple non-violent disarming spell caused Voldemort's spell to bounce back, thus causing him to basically kill himself. In the movie Harry looks like the aggressor, and it's not true to who Harry is.

3. No one is watching Harry and Lord VD fight. They walk alone. This makes not ONE lick of sense to me. First because in the book everyone is watching Harry and VD go at it, and second because as I said in #2 The Dark Lord goes poof when he dies. So what's Harry going to do, rush back into the castle and go "Hey guys, I did it! I killed him. It's over, come look..... See that that fleck of dust, that little pile of ash blowing away, that was Tom." He disappeared before. Does anyone remember what happened then? He. Came. Back.
I'm just saying.

So, I loved it. I will totally be asking for the boxed set on Blue Ray for Christmas, but I'm hoping for some extended cuts and some alternate scenes.

Thank you, J. K., for making life feel like magic. Thank you, Harry, for saving the world. And thank you, Hermione, for being a total rocking bad-ass chick! (Thanks Ron, for having a hot sister.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sometimes I Love the Internet

Seriously, sometimes the Internet is awesome! (Sometimes it's like a heroin addiction, but that's another topic for another day).

So I posted and was all "Woe is me," which I do because it helps me process and let go of my own negative feelings. But I also share the bad stuff because I get e-mail messages from strangers, Facebook messages from friends and comments from readers all saying the same thing "I feel the same way, I'm thinking about getting help, thank you for sharing your story." More than hearing myself talk I like knowing that my words are reaching people and teaching them or supporting them, it's a pretty sweet deal.

Ahywho, so Melissa commented on my blog and was like "Sounds like Herx" it never in a million years would have occurred to me that the emotional symptoms could be caused by a system wide reaction like that. I love that sometimes I help people because of the interwebs and sometimes people help me. I also know that 21 days isn't always successful in treating Lyme so I'm watching out, and being careful, but if I have to go back on doxy I'd rather do it in the fall so I'm content to drag my feet for now. I digress, so I was feeling down and then the next morning I woke up and felt fine. Like totally, completely, I need to clean my house, and wear make up, and exercise, because I've really let it all go, fine! My friends have good things going on and I'm content in my own life so I can genuinely be all squee for them. Cancer still sucks a big one, but I haven't gone to Hogwarts, I'm just detoxing so I can't make that one go away.

My dining room table is still a mess right now, but that's because we just finished dinner homemade pizza, not frozen- another indicator that I have successfully removed my head from my ass. But as it turns out my head wasn't where I thought it was, I was detoxing. Epsom salt bath, twisting yoga poses, drink lots of water, here I come!!

All of a sudden I'm the pinnacle of productive living and sanity and my husband is lazy and coo-coo for cocoa puffs by comparison. It's not his fault, he's empathetic, I may have dragged him down a bit, but I can also lift him up. I'm cool like that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I feel like I'm beind stalked.

I came home from dropping Jack off at camp and I found this little a-hole hanging out at my front door. Great. Deer tick. Just great.

This photo was taken about 3 seconds before I grabbed a knife and cut it in half. I know yoga teaches non-violence (and I'm trying to be non-violent), but eff that! I make an exception for ticks, especially ones that carry Lyme.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Worst Part

The worst part (for me) about being depressed is how it spreads into other areas of my life. Like weeds that you can't evict from your garden. They don't just stay where they are and choke out the positive and beautiful plants in one little area, they spread. They ruin the aesthetic everywhere.

I was pretty much not taking Zoloft while I was taking doxycycline.

The list of things you can't take when you're taking a Cipro drug is so long it's completely overwhelming. I was scared to take anything that would interact so I decided to taking nothing but the doxy. After basically 3 weeks without Zoloft I was feeling okay, a little low on the motivation-o-meter but otherwise a-okay. Now, nearly two weeks after finishing doxy my motivation level is so low it's hard to leave the couch. I can put on a good show for peeps and I'm not so far gone I don't love doing things with the family, obviously, but over all my inner monologue is pretty dark.

I have a hard time psyching myself up for even the most basic of tasks (like eating a real meal). I'm frustrated that I seem to need Zoloft, or at least that I'm not my normal self while not on a mood stabilizer. I'm frustrated that my dining room table is a wreck. I'm not sure if I'm depressed, or just lethargic (at least I'm not anxious). I don't really know what's going on, but it's like a weed, it's creeping in to everything.

My judgment is impaired. I'm not acting normally to even the simplest things. Example: I want to see the Harry Potter movie so bad I can taste it. I'm depressed that I haven't seen it yet. (Pathetic? Die-hard-fan?) It's just a movie.... I have the ability to get a sitter and go see the movie but I'm scared to call her. Why? Rejection? I'm paying her, not asking her out... I keep hearing friends good news, like really good news, and although I'm not so dark to be purely jealous, I'm happy first and jealous second. Why? Can't I just celebrate someone else's good news. (If you're reading this wondering if I've been dark and twisted about your good news, yes. Whether I know you IRL or just through the blogsphere, yes.)

I also keep hearing bad news. Cancer stuff (the running count is 3 wonderful people with a shitty shitty disease) and bad luck generally crappy things happening to good people. I don't deal well with bad news. I don't deal well at all with bad news. I basically shut down and pretend bad news isn't happening. So I obsess negatively about good news and ignore (or more like internally fester) bad news. I might not spend much time actively worrying about or being depressed over the sad things happening to good people but I'm not so naive to think its not sticking around. Bothering me. Weeds.

I mean it doesn't make sense, I feel totally emotionally all over the map, and yet things are not so bad I'm thinking about trying to stay off the Zoloft. I want to "make it on my own" as it were. But I'd like to function like a normal person again. I'd like to clean my dining room table and weed my metaphorical (and literal) garden. But its hard. It's especially hard because I have no trust in doctors (shrinks included).

Lost in the woods.
What to do? Oh, what to do....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sesame Place

Saturday we took a day trip to Sesame Place and we had a blast!

First I have some general park tips and then I have some family pics to share, so if you want the pics just skip ahead.

Here are some park tips I picked up:

  • No shoes, no ride. This seems obvious, but when I saw a man wearing a 4 month old in an Ergo get yelled at by a 16 year old ride operator for trying to bring the baby on the ride I realized they were taking that rule VERY literally. What 4 month old wears shoes?!

  • Height requirements- Most rides require you to be 36 inches tall (like the roller coaster and many of the water slides) Henry who is not nearly 3 feet tall had a blast too, and since he's not one for thrills he didn't mind. But if you have a daredevil who isn't 3 feet tall, I'd wait till they grow a bit before bringing them (because the park personnel take the rules very literally).

  • Bring a bag that is small enough to put in a locker (2ftx1ft) or bring a wet-bag so you can keep your valuables with you in the water park. I was so nervous every time we parked the stroller that it was hard for me to have fun. But worrying is what I do best...

  • Using that waterproof sling for Henry was great because he spent much of the water park time standing with his arms over his head begging to be held or actually in some one's arms. Using the sling saved my back and kept both hands free to take pics and occasionally help Jack.

  • When you enter the park to the left underneath the big Rubber Ducky raft slide there is a small shallow pool. There are benches and picnic tables and a little train hand car ride. It's shaded. It's the perfect place to make camp or take a little break. Also a great place to breastfeed, there were lots of moms that chose that spot, it was kinda funny that it was this unspoken rule.

That's enough tips, now it's time for the pics! Henry loved the Big Bird Balloon Race.
Splash park. Big hit for Jack!

Henry, not so much.

Despite some body language to the contrary, Jack LOVED this slide, and went again and again. He just barely met the height requirement (My fave part about this is I was able to go first, then tell the lifeguard at the bottom he needed to be caught and the lifeguard would fish him out. I saw another family, otherwise I wouldn't think he could have safely done this one at all!

Henry could give a hoot about Elmo. His loyalty lies with Cookie.

They loved it!

And that roller coaster? Jack rode it 3 times and then wanted to ride again and again but we bribed him with dinner at Macaroni Grill instead. I love that there were so many restaurants right outside the park because another chicken finger or cheese 'pizza' option would have made my head explode!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My entire lack of rose-colored glasses

First of all, anything in the pink family isn't really my color, so rose never really stood a chance. But even if I loved rose... I've never really been much for overlooking flaws. I love my kids, that isn't up for debate, but I see my kids for who they are perfection, imperfection and everything in between.

I read an article in a parenting magazine this morning giving advice to parents who are blind to their childrens' flaws. The parents who see their child in a squabble with another kid and ask "what did little so-and-so do to provoke my angel-face?" Really the advice was for the other parent in that situation, the one who's thinking "I think they're both to blame" but since angel-face's momma is unwilling to see it the realist is left alone to discipline their child while the equally-at-fault friend watches, wondering "what's this whole discipline thing."

Fault is really irrelevant. It has always seemed silly to point fingers. I point fingers, I'm human. But when I'm trying to model good behavior for my kids I always try to ride the line of You shouldn't have done X and I shouldn't have done Y so lets hug it out and move on. Anyway, back to the point...

The article was talking about kid/kid interactions, not kid/unraveled TP all over the bathroom floor interactions. Discipline is pretty crystal clear when there's only one possible perpetrator. When there are multiple children and multiple parenting styles involved that's when the water gets murky.

Reading the article made me flashback to a day that I picked Jack up from school/camp and the teacher told me "Jack was in an altercation with another boy today."
My first thought was craaaap. So I said "Oh, I'm sorry! What did he do?"
"Jack didn't do anything, the other boy was picking on him." Say what?!
I certainly don't believe Jack is nothing but trouble, but he and trouble are certainly... friendly. He's passionate and impulsive, traits I lovingly gave to him. Traits that sometimes allow me to be caring and fun-loving and other times allow be to find trouble like a moth drawn to a flame. So I get him, perhaps because I get myself.

It made me chuckle to remember that pick-up day and how my mind went immediately to wonder what my little angel face did. Turns out he might actually be a little bit of an angel face. Maybe every once in a while I should force myself to put on the rose colored glasses. Just to see how things look. (But just for a minute.)